In El cantar del playo or... a song is a rose is a thorn, choreographer Mario Barrantes Espinoza takes us back to Costa Rica’s gay night scene in the early 2010s, the years in which the musical genre of plancha became popular. Plancha encompasses a range of styles, with songs and lyrics about love and the pangs of love. The theatrical songs are an ode to romantic love with all of its bliss and suffering. As a genre, it is closely related to the culture of telenovela and the art of transformistas, or drag queens.
El cantar del playo or... a song is a rose is a thorn can be seen as a songbook with a collection of plancha tunes that reflect Espinoza's own time in Costa Rica’s gay scene. He recreates that period on stage with melodrama and poetic stories by means of sound, lighting, costumes and text. Together, these autonomous elements comprise a multimedia performance in which choreography and poetry meet.
Concept, artistic direction & performance: Mario Barrantes Espinoza – Concept assistance: Manu – Artistic assistance: Theo Livesey – Text editing: Theo Livesey & Mario Barrantes Espinoza – Sound design & musical arrangement: Pablo Esbert Lilienfeld – Lighting & technical direction: Ryoya Fudetani – Costumes & set: Flavio Juan Núñez & Laurent Tijou – Video projections: Federico Vladimir Strate Pezdirc – Vocal advice & coaching: Ignacio Jarquín – Production: Hiros – Coproduction: Kunstenwerkplaats, wpZimmer, KVS, Het TheaterFestival, Kunstencentrum Voo?uit, C-takt & KAAP – In collaboration with: Kunstencentrum Buda, workspacebrussels & deSingel – With the support of: the Flemish Government – In coproduction with: LOD Muziektheater